Fried Chicken > Can you use fried chicken bones for bone broth

Can You Use Fried Chicken Bones for Bone Broth?

Bone broth has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many health benefits. It is nutrient-dense, easy to digest, and contains compounds that support joint health, immunity, and digestion. Many bone broth enthusiasts swear by using bones from grass-fed beef or organic chicken.

But what if you have leftover bones from fried chicken? Can you still use them to make nutritious bone broth? The answer is yes, you can absolutely use fried chicken bones to make bone broth at home. Here’s what you need to know:

Can You Use Fried Chicken Bones for Bone Broth?

Yes, you can absolutely use bones from fried chicken to make your own bone broth at home. The bones still contain collagen, nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, and marrow – all of which will be extracted into the broth through long simmering.

Fried chicken bones work well because cooking them helps pull out some of the fat, resulting in a cleaner tasting bone broth. Roasting is not necessary since they were already fried.

To make bone broth from fried chicken bones, start by breaking up the bones into smaller pieces to expose the marrow. Place the bones in a pot and cover with water by 2-3 inches. Add aromatics like onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, parsley and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer for at least 6-12 hours, adding more water as needed.

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After simmering for several hours, the bones will have released their collagen, nutrients and minerals into the water, infusing it with flavor and nutrients. Strain out the solids and allow the broth to cool. The fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off. You’re left with a tasty, nutritious bone broth perfect for drinking or cooking with.

The broth can be stored for up to 5 days refrigerated or frozen for several months. For an even richer broth, consider returning the stripped chicken bones to the pot and simmering a second time before discarding them.

In summary, fried chicken bones make an excellent base for homemade bone broth. Simmer them low and slow to extract their nutrients, minerals and gelatin. It’s a great way to get more value from your food scraps and make use of the whole chicken. The resulting broth is nutritious, flavorful and simple to make at home.

Why Use Fried Chicken Bones?

Fried chicken bones still contain plenty of collagen, nutrients like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, and even small amounts of protein. Simmering them slowly releases these compounds into a mineral-rich broth perfect for sipping or using in soups, stews or sauces. It’s a great way to get more value out of your food and reduce waste.

Cooking the bones actually helps pull out some of the fat from the marrow, resulting in a cleaner-tasting bone broth. So don’t throw those leftover crispy chicken bones away! With a few simple steps, you can transform them into liquid gold.

How to make stock from fried chicken bones?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make stock from fried chicken bones:


    • Leftover fried chicken bones from 2-3 chickens
    • Enough water to cover bones by 2-3 inches
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (helps extract nutrients from bones)
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • Handful of fresh parsley
    • 1-2 bay leaves


    1. Break down fried chicken bones into smaller pieces to expose the marrow and cartilage. This will release more gelatin, minerals and collagen into the broth.
    2. Place bones in a large pot and add chopped vegetables, apple cider vinegar, garlic and spices. Pour in enough water to cover by 2-3 inches.
    3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for at least 6 hours, adding more water as needed to keep bones submerged.
    4. After several hours of simmering, strain out solids through a colander. Discard bones and vegetables.
    5. Allow broth to cool slightly then refrigerate overnight. As it chills, fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off.
    6. Reheat broth to drink, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer term storage.

Pro Tip: For even more gelatin and a thicker texture, return stripped chicken bones to pot after straining and simmer another 12-24 hours before discarding.

What to do with leftover fried chicken bones

Instead of discarding leftover fried chicken bones after a meal, put them to use by making bone broth or stock. Simmer the broken down bones for several hours with vegetables and seasonings to draw out their nutrients and flavors. This transforms food scraps into a valuable ingredient.

Strain the broth then use it as the base for soups, gravies, rice dishes or drink it straight as a nutritious beverage. Leftover picked fried chicken can also go into chicken salads, tacos, sandwiches, casseroles or used for topping baked potatoes. Get creative and you’ll find lots of ways to give fried chicken bones and meat a second life in the kitchen.

Can you reuse the bones more than once?

It’s best to only reuse the bones once. The first boil will extract most of the collagen, nutrients and flavor. A second boil may result in a weaker, watery broth.

Does it matter if the fried chicken is flavored or spiced?

Additional seasonings or spice rubs on flavored fried chicken don’t negatively impact the bone broth. If anything, they may add more interesting complexity to the flavor.

Can you use cooked chicken bones for stock?

Yes, cooked chicken bones can absolutely be used to make a nourishing homemade stock. In fact, bones that are roasted or fried are perfect for stock because cooking helps release flavors and collagen.

Break up the bones, place them in a pot with water to cover, and simmer for several hours with aromatics. The long cooking time will continue to draw out nutrients and minerals into the water, resulting in a tasty, collagen-rich stock. Refrigerate overnight then skim off the fat before using.
This technique works for bones from a roast chicken dinner or leftovers from fried chicken.

What chicken bones work best?

Bones with the most cartilage and connective tissue work best, like chicken feet, necks and backs. Avoid using only breast or wing bones.

Can the broth be frozen?

Yes, bone broth freezes very well for up to 6 months. Ice cube trays are perfect for freezing broth in usable portions.

Can you use leftover cooked bones for bone broth?

Cooked bones from roasted, fried, or baked chicken still have plenty of nutrients left to give. Simmer them for hours with some vinegar added to help extract the nutrients, collagen, and gelatin.

The cooking liquid becomes a mineral-rich bone broth, perfect for drinking on its own or using in place of stock in soups and sauces. Don’t discard those leftover bones after eating chicken. Put them to use by making nourishing bone broth. It takes advantage of bones’ nutrients so they don’t go to waste.


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